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Archive 2012 · Starting macro gear
  
 
binary visions
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Starting macro gear


Andre Labonte wrote:
That's right, the OP does have a 200-400 which should work great with tubes. In fact, for larger flowers, tubes + a long telephoto is my prefered method of doing close up shots. Never thought of it for bugs, but for big bugs that makes a lot of sense ... not sure about smaller bugs...someone with more experience in that area would have to speak to it.


My 300mm f/4 AF-S with a 52mm PN-11 extension tube makes for about a 1:2 macro lens with a TON of working distance. It's absolutely outstanding for bugs if you are shooting at the typical times that I do - that is, very early when they're sluggish and not moving.

A telephoto + extension tubes is very awkward for moving critters - I have a 90mm f/2.8 for that - but when I'm confident things will sit still, I leave the 90mm at home every time.



Dec 09, 2012 at 02:39 AM
BenV
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Starting macro gear


Andre Labonte wrote:
That's right, the OP does have a 200-400 which should work great with tubes. In fact, for larger flowers, tubes + a long telephoto is my prefered method of doing close up shots. Never thought of it for bugs, but for big bugs that makes a lot of sense ... not sure about smaller bugs...someone with more experience in that area would have to speak to it.


Unfortunately (fortunately?) the 200-400 is now gone. Had to use the funds for some other stuff and while it was nice to have, I didn't use it nearly as much as I did in my head. I'm still kind of torn on which macro lens to get now. I prefer to buy Nikon gear, but it's not a requirement. I've been looking at the Tamron 90, Sigma 150 and Nikon 105VR. So far I'm some what leaning to the Tamron, its half the price, but I also have a new found obsession with Sigma lenses...

Oh the choices



Dec 09, 2012 at 04:41 AM
aFrIcanSH
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Starting macro gear


i used an sb600, 105mm and extension tubes for these shots. I find tripods a bit too in-the-way for macro. Sometimes i feel the 105mm is overkill since i'm using tubes anyway, and it's a bit off balance with tubes on. Sometimes lighter (for the front end) like a tamron or something with a tripod foot (like the sigma 150?) to grab onto with tubes would be better. Food for thought.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/africansh/sets/72157629723150615/
a mix of outdoor and indoor shots.




Dec 09, 2012 at 05:36 AM
binary visions
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Starting macro gear


IMO, the Tamron 90mm is optically as good as the Nikon for a lot less money.

No AF-S, no VR... just nice optics in a cheap package.



Dec 09, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Starting macro gear


binary visions wrote:
IMO, the Tamron 90mm is optically as good as the Nikon for a lot less money.

No AF-S, no VR... just nice optics in a cheap package.


********************

+10 and at macro distances you are manual focusing anyway and VR is not very effective at all.

Heck, for the price of the 200 micro, you could get both the Tamron 90 and 180 and have money left over. Come on, FEED THE NAS!!!!

In all seriousness though, the Tamron 90 is a great way to start and get used to macro work. If you still need more reach, spring for the 180 later. Even the Sigma micro lenses are expensive compared to the Tamrons ... the Tamrons are unsung gems.



Dec 09, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Starting macro gear


binary visions wrote:
My 300mm f/4 AF-S with a 52mm PN-11 extension tube makes for about a 1:2 macro lens with a TON of working distance. It's absolutely outstanding for bugs if you are shooting at the typical times that I do - that is, very early when they're sluggish and not moving.

A telephoto + extension tubes is very awkward for moving critters - I have a 90mm f/2.8 for that - but when I'm confident things will sit still, I leave the 90mm at home every time.


**********

Thanks for the insight. I learned something new today.



Dec 09, 2012 at 01:51 PM
BenV
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Starting macro gear


aFrIcanSH wrote:
i used an sb600, 105mm and extension tubes for these shots. I find tripods a bit too in-the-way for macro. Sometimes i feel the 105mm is overkill since i'm using tubes anyway, and it's a bit off balance with tubes on. Sometimes lighter (for the front end) like a tamron or something with a tripod foot (like the sigma 150?) to grab onto with tubes would be better. Food for thought.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/africansh/sets/72157629723150615/
a mix of outdoor and indoor shots.



Wonderful photos, your not making my decision to go to a third party lens any easier,



Dec 09, 2012 at 04:44 PM
BenV
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Starting macro gear


Andre Labonte wrote:
********************

+10 and at macro distances you are manual focusing anyway and VR is not very effective at all.

Heck, for the price of the 200 micro, you could get both the Tamron 90 and 180 and have money left over. Come on, FEED THE NAS!!!!

In all seriousness though, the Tamron 90 is a great way to start and get used to macro work. If you still need more reach, spring for the 180 later. Even the Sigma micro lenses are expensive compared to the Tamrons ... the Tamrons are unsung gems.


Definitely going to take a hard look into both lenses. Hopefully I can find them on the b/s section.



Dec 09, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Kerry Pierce
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Starting macro gear


FWIW, I've had a long love affair with macro & closeup. I have 7 macro, micro lenses, from the Nikon 60 to the Nikon 70-180 micro, 2 Sigmas and a Tamron. Additionally, I often use the Sigma 100-300 f/4, naked, for flower closeups or with extension tubes for more mag. I have a Manfrotto tripod that is a "transformer" type, that will allow the camera to be positioned horizontally about 2 ft or so from the head and maybe 6" off of the ground, with an Acratech GV2 ballhead that can also function like a Gimbal. With my longer macro lenses, I have often used a Wimberly Sidekick, Gimbal style head. I also have a cheap macro focusing rail. Do yourself a favor and don't buy a cheap focusing rail.

IME, 2 or 3 off camera flash controlled by another flash, with a big bounce card, in the hotshoe can work really well.

If you find that you get into shooting flowers in the field, I highly recommend the Nikon 70-180 micro. A zoom is just so much nicer, easier to use when you're avoiding trampling someone's prize flowers. Same applies to a "transformer" style tripod like the Manfrotto found . here. I know that you don't want to buy a new tripod now. I just wanted to show you an alternative for macros. Manfrotto also makes a horizontal "Side Arm" that attaches to your tripod, found here. Something that I love for shooting flowers on windy days is the McClamp, found here.

My first "real" macro lens was the Tamron 90. As others mentioned, it's cheap and very sharp. Mine has a color cast distinctively different from any other of my lenses. But, it's 8 years old, so that may not apply today. My current favorite lenses are the 70-180 micro, Sigma 150 and Nikon 60. The Nikon 70-180 is the only true zoom macro available and it was discontinued in 2003, IIRC. It can be found used, but a good copy isn't cheap. The 70-200vr or 70-200 f/4 with
extension tubes might be acceptable alternatives. Dunno. I don't much like using tubes. I found them to be too limiting for my tastes.

I usually advise folks wanting to get into macro on the cheap, to get the Tamron 90 as a starter lens. If you think macro/closeups will be a serious part of your photography, then I'd advise getting the Sigma 150, maybe the 180. I have an 8 year old 180 and it's kind of a beast compared to the 150. The 150 is my favorite of the 2, being lighter, shorter, better balanced for me. If you get the 150 and decide that macro isn't for you, it should be a very easy sell on the used market.

good luck
Kerry



Dec 09, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Creative Edge
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Starting macro gear


Ben,
I live in the area of Miami Lakes which is very close to hollywood if you'd like we can meet up and I have a Sigma 150 2.8 OS you can try out..



Dec 10, 2012 at 12:23 AM
 

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BenV
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Starting macro gear


Kerry Pierce wrote:
FWIW, I've had a long love affair with macro & closeup. I have 7 macro, micro lenses, from the Nikon 60 to the Nikon 70-180 micro, 2 Sigmas and a Tamron. Additionally, I often use the Sigma 100-300 f/4, naked, for flower closeups or with extension tubes for more mag. I have a Manfrotto tripod that is a "transformer" type, that will allow the camera to be positioned horizontally about 2 ft or so from the head and maybe 6" off of the ground, with an Acratech GV2 ballhead that can also function like a Gimbal. With my longer
...Show more

Ah there we go again, another recommendation for the sigma 150 I originally wanted,

thanks for the opinion, I'm fairly certain I'm going to pick up the Tamron 90, it looks like it can be bought used for around $300. Thats not breaking the bank, so the invest should be well worth it.



Dec 10, 2012 at 01:03 AM
BenV
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Starting macro gear


Creative Edge wrote:
Ben,
I live in the area of Miami Lakes which is very close to hollywood if you'd like we can meet up and I have a Sigma 150 2.8 OS you can try out..


That sounds amazing, please check your inbox



Dec 10, 2012 at 01:03 AM
DaveOls
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Starting macro gear


LMT1972 wrote:
Some good advice here but some of it is fine in theory but not so practical. If you are going shoot full flash leave the tripod at home and shoot handheld or with a monopod. Extra Working distance is nice but not necessary in most cases if you know your subjects (most folks in the macro forum are using 65-105 focal length). If you are going to use a tripod and shoot natural light go with a longer focal length but if shooting full flash the 105VR will be fine (I use the Tamron 60 f2 + tubes and find
...Show more

The OP may be interested in doing insects at the moment, but like others he may decide to widen his horizons and do other things too such as flowers or leaves that do not move unless there is a wind.



Dec 10, 2012 at 04:04 PM
BenV
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Starting macro gear


DaveOls wrote:
The OP may be interested in doing insects at the moment, but like others he may decide to widen his horizons and do other things too such as flowers or leaves that do not move unless there is a wind.


I may end up doing flowers and other odds and ends, but I've always had a fascination with bugs and animals. Plants never really interested me much. So for the foreseeable future, it'll be small living things I can find, they are just much more interesting to me. Butterflies, insects, worms, snakes, bees, ants, things of that sort.



Dec 10, 2012 at 04:12 PM
BenV
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Starting macro gear


Well I didn't want to leave everyone in the dark (not like anyone really cares), but after weighing all my options I purchased a Nikon 105 VR and decided to sell off the 85 1.8G, its too close in focal length, and I don't use it that much anyways. Now I just need my D800 L-bracket to come in and my extension tubes.

Thanks again for all the help everyone.



Dec 22, 2012 at 10:56 PM
phlegmon
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Starting macro gear


I bought a 105 VR over a year ago and have only used it once. Took a picture of a flower and didn't get the results I wanted. Images came out blurry with just a slight wind. Didn't have the patience.

This thread piqued my interest again. Is there a cheap flash bracket (or DIY) that someone can recommend?



Dec 23, 2012 at 03:14 AM
BenV
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Starting macro gear


phlegmon wrote:
I bought a 105 VR over a year ago and have only used it once. Took a picture of a flower and didn't get the results I wanted. Images came out blurry with just a slight wind. Didn't have the patience.

This thread piqued my interest again. Is there a cheap flash bracket (or DIY) that someone can recommend?


I've been looking as well, it seems BH and eBay are the way to go. They are dirt cheap (like $30).



Dec 24, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Starting macro gear


I've tried lots of bracket solutions on the cheap ... in the end I got a Custom Bracket Digital Pro ... I'll never need another bracket as long as I live.


Dec 25, 2012 at 12:13 AM
penghai
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Starting macro gear


phlegmon wrote:
I bought a 105 VR over a year ago and have only used it once. Took a picture of a flower and didn't get the results I wanted. Images came out blurry with just a slight wind. Didn't have the patience.


Depending ob your camera, you may be able to just set a higher ISO to achieve high enough shutter speed.

Eric



Dec 28, 2012 at 03:14 AM
BenV
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Starting macro gear


penghai wrote:
Depending ob your camera, you may be able to just set a higher ISO to achieve high enough shutter speed.

Eric


I doubt that was the problem. With macro the depth of field is so thin its crazy.



Dec 28, 2012 at 03:26 AM
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